Issue #35

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This is issue no. 35 of 180. Last issue saw a 44.70% open rate with 20.45% of you going to this story on 'The 10 Least Engaging Brands."

Today: 10 things that you need to read.

Last Word: eCommerce brands have options.

Amazon is the king of eCommerce but, for over 250,000 brands - Shopify (1,886 Mattermark score) is a worthy challenger for the attention of their niche businesses. By revenue, employee growth, and influence, alone, (65,764 Mattermark Score) is unbeatable. But selling on Amazon isn't for every aspiring brand, yet. 

E-commerce software provider Shopify had 275,000 clients at the end of the first quarter, up from just over 162,000 a year earlier. 

With over 120,000 new stores added to the rolls, Shopify's eCommerce agencies are inline to be of the fastest growing agency-based businesses in the United States. A quick look at the code for Shopify's "experts" database and there are at least 2,495 development houses around the world.  Many of these are one-off developers, even more of them are stagnant. Knocking off the bottom 1,500 and you have 1,000 international agencies vying for the business of 120,000 new stores at an average development price of $22,000 (based on a recent survey). This number doesn't include retainers for marketing, app building, etc. 

One of the tools that I am developing for 2PML is a way for brands to find the best developer for them. As of now, Shopify's "experts" site highlights high-flying developer houses by proximity to your IP address. I suppose that geography matters but in many cases, brands use developer houses that are well across the country (or even abroad).  

After taking into consideration: SEO, editorial presence, database up votes, and project quality - I've graphed a loosely interpreted chart of ten Shopify development houses that are doing good business. Several others (like Canada's Bold Commerce) do not have a Mattermark score and were not included. The Shopify Benchmark is included to illustrate a market cap. This number is assigned to Shopify by Mattermark. 

The Mattermark "growth score" is proprietary but it is reliable. Shopify is the solution for the majority of upstart eCommerce brands. For Shopify Plus users experiencing hyper-growth (like Chubbies Shorts, Mizzen+Main), Amazon and Shopify are developing a system to allow products to be featured and sold, seamlessly on This is the absolute best of both worlds - the functionality of Shopify, the discoverability of Amazon.